Rare Metal Investments – Dysprosium

rare metal investments - dysprosium

Dysprosium is in the E Baskets.

One of the metals SMH Panama S.A. is most excited about right now, is also listed as most “at risk” for supply shortages by the EU. Dysprosium may be found in many minerals including xenotime, ferusonite, gadolinite, euxenite, polycrase, blomstrandine and monzinite, but it is extremely challenging to separate. This explains why its name in Greek means “Difficult to get at”. First identified in 1886 by Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in Paris, Dysprosium can be cut with a knife, tarnishes slowly in air, and burns readily. Dysprosium is vital in a wide range of applications and industries ranging from Nuclear to Refrigeration, and in products from laser materials and commercial lighting to automotive.

One of its more exciting applications is in electric and hybrid electric vehicles, which are being strongly promoted in both China and the EU. This industry alone requires over 100 grams of Dysprosium in the drive motors for every car produced. Toyota’s projected 2 million cars per year output alone will require more dysprosium than is currently available.

Dysprosium is also used to measure radiation, and in metal-halide lamps. It is used to reinforce other materials, as a catalyst, and in high-precision liquid fuel injectors.

During a recent European Union study, only 8 metals were listed as “At Risk” for supply shortages as part of their de-carbonization efforts. Dysprosium was listed as most “at risk”. In fact, the U.S. D.O.D. expects a 47 ton shortfall in Dysprosium supply needed for an unspecified military application in the next conflict.

Dysprosium is “Difficult to get at”. And the large number of growing applications almost ensures supply shortages are right around the corner. Therefore, values of this versatile metal are almost certain to increase.

Specifications

Element Symbol: Dy
Atomic mass: 162.5 amu
Atomic radius: 178 pm
Density: 8.54 g/cm³
Colour: Silvery White
Melting point: 1,407 °C
Boiling point: 2,562 °C
Heat of evaporation: 289 kJ/mol
Annual production worldwide approx.: 100 t.

Application

  • Laser and Commercial Lighting
  • Nuclear Reactors
  • Data Storage Applications (Hard Disks)
  • Drive Motors in Electric Vehicles
  • Transducers
  • Wide Band Mechanical Resonators
  • High-Precision Liquid Fuel Injectors
  • Dosimeters
  • Catalysts
  • Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerators